Farage calls for Brexit campaign tactics change during Yorkshire visit

NIGEL Farage has urged the official Leave campaign to change its tactics as he admitted Remain's claims over the economic threat posed by leaving the European Union had hit home with voters in recent days.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Chapeltown today

The UK Independence Party leader criticised Vote Leave for focusing on detailed arguments about future trade deals Britain may agree instead of making the broader case for the country being able to thrive outside the EU.

Mr Farage was speaking after the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies suggested leaving the EU would force the Government to choose between inflicting additional public spending cuts to balance its books or have higher than planned borrowing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Chapeltown today

The IFS report follows a series of gloomy assessments from the Treasury on the economic impact of ‘Brexit’ and warnings from the IMF and OECD.

Asked if he thought the Remain argument on the economy was cutting through, Mr Farage told The Yorkshire Post: “I think it probably has a little bit in the last few days.”

He continued: “I’m not sure, if I’m honest with you, that the official Leave campaign have got their messaging quite right on this but I think there’s still plenty of time to get it right.

“On the economics, even with no trade deal, we would be better off than we are today. So let’s get this down to a level that ordinary folk can understand.

Nigel Farage ducks to avoid low-hanging branches as his open-top bus makes its way through Sheffield. Picture: Scott Merrylees

“The idea of tariff-free access, reciprocal tariff-free access, fine. But even without that we are still better off. We are paying a lot of money for a lot of regulation, for free movement of people to be part of a market that is selling us £60 to £80bn worth of goods a year more than we are selling them.

“Even if there’s the worst case scenario and they want to cut off their noses to spite their faces with their biggest trading partner in the world - it’s ludicrous to think they would but if they did - the worst case scenario is WTO rules and the maximum tariffs on British products would be £7bn, our net membership fee is £10bn.

“Whichever we you cut this I think there’s a very powerful case we’d be better off without this.”

Leave campaigners have questioned the motives of organisations which have issued warnings about the economic dangers of leaving the EU and Mr Farage rejected the suggestion he was asking voters to take a leap of faith.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Chapeltown today

“The leap of faith is to believe what you’re told by Government organisations and I would counter that point by saying that I suspect we are more cynical about what Government tells us today than we have ever been in our history,” he said.

Mr Farage was in South Yorkshire today visiting Chapeltown in the latest stage of his open-top bus tour as part of his campaign for a Leave vote on June 23.

He urged passers-by to back Leave as the bus drove around the town before he took to the streets of Chapeltown, talking to dozens of voters, posing for pictures, signing autographs and handing out banners.

The Ukip campaign is targeting the Labour dominated areas of the North where it has had success in attracting support in recent elections in the expectation that the official Vote Leave grouo will focus on Conservative-supporting areas.

Nigel Farage ducks to avoid low-hanging branches as his open-top bus makes its way through Sheffield. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Leave campaigners have complained at the use of Government resources to back the Remain argument and Mr Farage expressed hope that the beginning of the so-called ‘purdah’ period this week limiting the work of officials would “make a difference”.